Bipolar Disorder: What Is It and What Treatments Are Available

By Stephanie Osuba

Bipolar disorder is classified as a mood disorder with cycling emotions of highs (mania) and lows (depression) by the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Periods of mania can last for as little as two days and as long as fourteen days at a time. It is this period of elevated mood and heightened irritability that sets bipolar disorder apart from the diagnosis of clinical depression. During a manic episode, people experience elevated moods of extreme happiness, decreased need for sleep, hyperactivity, and racing thoughts which manifest in pressured speech. Because mania makes people feel like they are on top of the world, people also tend to engage in risky behavior of sexual nature or even substance abuse to maintain the high. Manic episodes can also bring on an intense and easily irritable mood, which can also lead to a risk of violence. Besides one manic episode, in order to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder one must have had a depressive episode as well. This period can last from a few days to even months and is characterized by extreme sadness, disinterest in pleasurable activities, lack of energy, and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

There are two kinds of bipolar disorder, one being more manic and the other being more depressive. Bipolar I is characterized by one fully manic episode, that must last at least a week, and a depressive episode. Bipolar II is characterized by a period of depression and a period of hypomania. Hypomania has all the symptoms of a manic episode; however it usually doesn’t last as long, only about a few days. The speed at which people cycle through emotions largely depends on the person. Treatment for this disorder can either psychotherapy or medication. Most people seem to benefit greatly from a combined treatment of both. A common medication prescribed for this disorder is a mood stabilizer and even sometimes an antidepressant or other psychotropic medication. It’s best to talk to a professional in order to find the best individual treatment plan.

Source: Grohol, J. M., Psy. D. (2018, May 18). Bipolar Disorder – What is it? Can it be treated? Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/disorders/bipolar/ 

If you or someone you know is struggling with bipolar disorder, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

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Bipolar Disorder

By: Dianna Gomez

Bipolar Disorder, also known as “Manic-Depressive,” is a disorder of the brain that causes a person to experience sudden shifts in mood, energy/activity levels, and disrupts their ability to function fully each day. The changes in mood range from a person feeling extremely “up” and energized which are known as manic episodes to feeling extremely “down” and sad which is known as depressive episodes. There are multiple forms of Bipolar Disorder, however, the two main types of the disorder are Bipolar I and Bipolar II. Regardless of the type a person has, he or she still suffers from very similar symptoms. Bipolar I Disorder is defined by manic episodes/symptoms that are either so severe the individual needs to be hospitalized immediately or the episode itself has lasted for at least 7 days. Depressive episodes occur in people with this type of Bipolar as well and these episodes can last up to at least 2 weeks at a time. Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a certain pattern of depressive episodes followed by some hypo-manic episodes. The only difference between manic and hypo-manic is that hypo-manic episodes are not as intense as full on manic ones. More specifically, when a person is having a manic episode they can experience the following symptoms:

  • Feeling “jumpy” or “weird”
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Talk really fast about a lot of different things
  • Racing thoughts
  • Participating in risky behaviors (ex: spending all your money)

On the other hand, when a person is going through a depressive episode, he or she can experience the following symptoms:

  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Not being able to enjoy things
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Eating too much or not enough
  • Thinking about death and/or suicide

Luckily, there are several forms of treatment that a person suffering from Bipolar Disorder can seek out to help them live a more normal and stable lifestyle. Methods of treatment include: medications (mood stabilizers, sleep medications, antidepressants, and atypical anti-psychotics), psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapy, family-focused therapy, and interpersonal therapy), or a combination of both. Even while taking medications some mood swings may still occur. This makes it especially important that there is a close and honest patient-doctor relationship in order to manage the disorder in the most efficient way possible. In addition to these, there is also electroconvulsive therapy or “ECT,” and keeping a lifestyle chart. When keeping the lifestyle chart, the patient records their daily symptoms, sleep patterns, and other important life events.

 

If you or anyone you know may suffer from either Bipolar I Disorder or Bipolar II Disorder, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit us at http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.

Bipolar Disorder in Homeland

By Miranda Botti

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive disorder, often shows its troubled face in Hollywood. The vast majority of the time, however, the character who wields this troubling disorder is shown through a very negative light. Certainly, bipolar disorder is a very difficult mental illness to possess, however, those afflicted can still be great individuals who do great things. One Hollywood character, Carrie Mathison from Homeland, deals with intense and at times debilitating bipolar disorder, but, is at the very top of her field. Carrie works as a CIA agent, consistently solving the toughest of cases and working to recruit new assets. Carrie is the cinematic proof that our society needs to move past the idea that bipolar disorder prevents you from achieving greatness.

Although Carrie Mathison is an incredibly gifted individual who works as one of the United States’ top spies, her bipolar disorder is very real and the show keeps it as so. She is impulsive, at times irrational, and when she is off her lithium medication, her mind races and she speaks somewhat incoherently, being the only one able to decipher what she says. When her mania dissipates and the depression kicks in, she is bed ridden for days, unable to break through the dark shadow that hangs over her. Carrie’s episodes are very realistic and provide a great example of what it is like to live with bipolar disorder. For this, Carrie is the perfect representation of a highly intelligent, successful individual that, despite her mental health issues, continues to contribute to society. This is a message that should be spread throughout Hollywood. For many, art imitates life, and to a large extent that is true. However, representing individuals afflicted with mental illnesses as inept, violent, and dangerous is not only extremely inaccurate, but also unfair. People with mental illness should be portrayed not only because of their mental illnesses but also because of their positive qualities. As Carrie Mathison, and thousands of people every day prove, mental illness does not totally define anyone nor does it stop anyone from making a meaningful impact or from being a positive, influential person. I hope to see more characters like Carrie Mathison in Hollywood’s future, accurately portraying mental health issues.

 If you or someone you know is suffering from Bipolar disorder, contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shrink-speak/201411/homeland-true-portrayal-mental-illness

 

Depression: Why Exercise Can Help (part 1: what is depression?)

Eve Bae

With around 16.1 million Americans affected by major depressive disorder and around 3.3 million American adults affected by persistent depressive disorder1, it is imperative for health care professionals to figure out how to help patients suffering with their disorder. These statistics even exclude children and those under the age of legal adulthood, making the number of afflicted patients most likely greater. With the different types and degrees of severity of depression, it is difficult to state that there is one encompassing solution for this multifaceted diagnosis.

Depression is a state of being characterized by multiple symptoms such as depressed mood, diminished interest or pleasure, fatigue, negative feelings of worthlessness, difficulties with concentration or thinking which impair the patient’s daily life activities. The patient must have been feeling this way for at least the same 2 week period and all symptoms must be caused solely by this disorder. This condition can have a biological, social, or even environmental base. Researchers have found that people suffering from depression have a smaller hippocampus and other biological differences, which differentiate them from those who do not suffer from this condition. Another area explored and hypothesized is the role neurotransmitters play in this disorder. Harvard researchers, doctors, and psychologists acknowledge that the brain is a dynamic system with no one neurotransmitter as the sole cause for all patients but there may be different problematic neurotransmitters for each patient. When the fragile balance of serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, glutamate, and/or GABA is disrupted, it affects the brain and ultimately the patient, influencing their moods, emotions, and behavior.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.

So how can exercise help this difficult disorder? Onto Part 2!

  1. adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
  2. photo: affinitymagazine.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/1468445687-depression.jpg

Mania

There may be times individuals experience bursts of energy and during this time they may have little to no sleep and still feel energized, speak at a faster pace than usual, or participate in high risk behaviors/goal directed behaviors. These symptoms can be found in someone diagnosed with mania. When one experiences these symptoms, they may experience a feeling of euphoria that gradually declines. Mania is usually associated with some form of mood disorder such as bipolar disorder and is not by itself a diagnosis. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Volume 5 (DSM-V), mania is characterized by a period of at least 1 week where an elevated, expansive or unusually irritable mood is present. A person experiencing a manic episode also is usually engaged in significant goal-directed activity beyond their normal activities.  This behavior is usually observable by others. When someone is experiencing a manic episode, it usually causes some level of impairment.  As mentioned previously, once a manic individual’s euphoric state starts to decline, they may end up in a state of depression. As individuals are switching from one state to another, they may cause great harm to themselves or others.

If you know anyone who has experienced this behavior, encourage them to seek professional help. With offices in Manhattan and New Jersey (Paramus and Englewood), Arista Counseling offers treatment for bipolar disorder, depression, personality disorders, and much more. Evaluations are also performed on site. Please feel free to contact us at or Manhattan location at (212) 996-3939 or at our New Jersey location at (201) 368-3700.

Written by: L Matthew

How to Recognize a Sociopath

Sociopaths: devious, controlling, cunning. If you ever come across someone with this toxic antisocial personality disorder, it is important to know how to recognize the signs for your own personal safety. These people repeatedly disregard the feelings of others while seeking only to please themselves. They are unable to have the ability to organize their emotions and therefore have no shame about their actions, regardless of how it makes those around them feel. Often, they find internal gratification from hurting others. Below are some warning signs to help you identify a sociopath:

  • A discrepancy between what the person says, and what the person does
  • Making excuses for themselves when they are caught in a lie
  • Changing the subject when they are caught in a lie
  • Beating around the bush when asked questions about the lie you caught them in or not answering them directly
  • Knowing others’ vulnerabilities and manipulating them for personal gain
  • Ability to understand laws and rules, but being unable to understand emotionally why those rules are in place
  • No feelings of shame when they know they have hurt other people
  • Repeatedly putting themselves in situations which could get them arrested
  • Disregarding the safety of themselves or others
  • Constant irritability, hostility, and antagonism
  • Performing cruel and gruesome acts on animals

If these warning signs sound like they apply to yourself or someone you know, it is very important to start therapy. With the help of a medical professional, the combination of medication and psychotherapy can help people with this personality disorder.

The psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can help you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722 1920 to set up an appointment.

Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Sources:

“Sociopath X – ALL ABOUT SOCIOPATHS – Sociopathic Personality Disorder and Types.” D for Depression Depressive Psychological Disorders. Depression D, 2010. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.

By: Scout H

Bipolar Disorder: Signs and Symptoms

bipolar-disorder

Bipolar Disorder: Signs and Symptoms

Catherine Ferreira

Bipolar disorder has a history of being greatly misunderstood. Often confused with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder), it is an affliction whereby the afflicted goes through on-and-off periods of mania and depression. Symptoms for bipolar depression include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Change in weight (not due to dieting)
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Fidgety OR slow
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • Poor concentration or having difficulty making decisions
  • Thinking about death or suicide

On the other hand, symptoms of bipolar mania include:

  • Exaggerated beliefs of having power, importance or ability
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Extremely talkative
  • Rapidly changing, unrelated or racing thoughts
  • Easily distracted
  • Extremely driven behavior
  • Risky behavior

How to deal with bipolar disorder in a way that goes beyond medication? Simple: psychotherapy and support groups.

If you or a loved one experience the above symptoms, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Source : http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder-symptom-information?driverbipolarsymptoms

Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Bipolar Disorder

substance-abuse-bipolar-disorder-therapy-nj
By: Michelle J. Hong

As most of us know, bipolar disorder is a mental illness that induces the two mental states of mania and depression. These two polar opposite states can cause elevated energy levels, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, etc. Because of this constant war of going back and forth between the two mental states, individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder tend to self-medicate to feel “normal”. Unfortunately, often these individuals do not realize that drugs and alcohol have the opposite effect on their illness, and exacerbate the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Self-medication usually includes all types of drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, illegally obtained prescription pills, and other mood-altering substances. Approximately 60% of people who suffer from bipolar disorder experience substance abuse at least once in their lifetime. People who exhibit both bipolar disorder and drug and alcohol problems have a dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and substance abuse, but it is important to locate a psychologist, a psychiatric nurse, or a psychologist who can correctly diagnose this. When individuals with bipolar disorder use drugs and alcohol while taking mood-stabilizing medication, it can often interfere with the medication’s effectiveness and create chemical imbalances in the brain that can worsen the manic and depressive episodes. Substance abuse effects can mask the symptoms of bipolar disorder, resulting in incorrect treatment. In order to prevent misdiagnosis of individuals with both bipolar disorder and substance abuse, the substance abuse needs to stop. Once individual no longer abuses substances, a proper evaluation and diagnosis can take place. Dual diagnosis treatments are becoming more common to accurately diagnose both disorders and give the most fitting treatment for these individuals.

 

If you or a loved one live in Manhattan or Bergen County New Jersey and might be suffering from bipolar disorder and/or substance abuse, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information

 

Sources:

http://www.recoveryranch.com/articles/dual-diagnosis/bipolar-disorder-substance-abuse/

http://www.addictionsearch.com/treatment_articles/article/understanding-the-connection-between-drug-addiction-and-bipolar-disorder_108.html

Bipolar Disorder: Importance of Treatment

Bipolar-Disorder-treatment1By: Michelle J. Hong

Thousands of Americans today suffer from a mental illness known as bipolar disorder. This common disorder is commonly known to be a complex, difficult disease due to the manifestations of the ups of mania and lows of depression. The individual experiences unpredictable moods such as bursts of overconfidence, restlessness, suicidal thoughts, etc., through “manic” and “depressive” episodes that bleed over to various aspects of an individual’s life, such as the workplace, home, and social settings. Unfortunately, these two opposite states can present themselves simultaneously, which makes the disease that much more difficult to cope with emotionally, mentally, and physically. The onset of this disease is usually during adolescence and early adulthood, but it can happen at any age. The causes of bipolar disorder could be due to chemical changes in your brain, family history, or it could be unclear. This disease also does not discriminate; it can affect people across all ages, genders, and races.

Bipolar disorder is a serious, long-term illness, and treatment and therapy are vital to self-improvement and management of the illness. Although bipolar disorder cannot be prevented, it can be managed through two types of treatments: medicine and talk therapy. There are prescribed medicine known as mood-stabilizers that can work to control an individual’s moods and “stabilize” states. Talk therapy involves talking to a psychologist, social worker, or mental health counselor in order to learn how the disease influences an individual’s character, emotions, and actions. There are devastating consequences if this mental illness goes untreated; a majority of untreated individuals are in constant states of struggle and are easily susceptible to depression, which can lead individuals to self-harm or attempt suicide. If left untreated, individuals can become psychotic which is characterized by hallucinations and delusions. The instability of the mind will increase because this disease is not fleeting; it lasts a lifetime.

If you or a loved one live in Manhattan or Bergen County New Jersey and might be suffering from bipolar disorder or depression, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information

Sources: http://www.suicide.org/bipolar-disorder-and-suicide.html

ADHD vs. Bipolar Disorder

adhd vs bipolar disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Bipolar Disorder are often difficult to diagnose due to the fact that they share many symptoms. ADHD can be characterized by debilitating inattention and hyperactivity, where as bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings between high energy and activity and feelings of sadness or depression. Some symptoms that often manifest in both patients with ADHD and bipolar disorder are:

  • Rapid, impulsive speech
  • Physical restlessness
  • Trouble focusing
  • Irritability, and sometimes
  • Defiant or oppositional behavior

If you, or a loved one, are suffering from ADHD or Bipolar Disorder and need diagnosis or treatment, the licensed professional psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling and Psychological Services can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information at Arista Counseling